30 Free Things to Do in L.A. Any Time

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Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 5:00 AM

click to enlarge Grand Park - SEAN J. O'CONNELL
  • Sean J. O'Connell
  • Grand Park
Does it take fame and fortune to enjoy L.A.? The answer, if you didn't already know, is a resounding "no". (Although neither ever hurt.) It doesn't matter if you're broke or flush, these thirty free things to do in and around town, culled from our painstakingly assembled Best of L.A. issue, will entertain, enlighten, expand your mind, and feed your spirit -- all without costing you a dime.

30. Admire Art with Celebs

If it isn't Banksy everyone's talking about, it's Shepard Fairey. Subliminal Projects, housed in Fairey's creative firm in Echo Park offers exhibitions by artists who aren't totally mainstream-famous, although you'll likely be admiring the art and drinking free booze alongside a celebrity. 1331 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park. (213) 213-0078, subliminalprojects.com.

click to enlarge Mark David Christenson, left, and Ryan Hitchcock perform at the Clubhouse in improv team Street Lightning. - KATE LANE
  • Kate Lane
  • Mark David Christenson, left, and Ryan Hitchcock perform at the Clubhouse in improv team Street Lightning.
29. Take in Some Indie Improv

The Clubhouse, located off an alley in Hollywood, offers free improv shows every night. 1107 N. El Centro Ave., Hlywd. theclubhouseimprov.com.

28. Take a Hike in L.A.'s Best Park

The Musch Trail in Topanga Canyon State Park climbs to panoramic ocean vistas that couldn't be more stunning. 20825 Entrada Road, Topanga Canyon. (310) 455-2465, parks.ca.gov/?page_id=629.

click to enlarge Brewery Artists Lofts - VOICE PLACES
  • Voice Places
  • Brewery Artists Lofts

27. Art Crawl through an Old PBR Factory

The biannual Brewery Art Walk allows the public to wander the studios of The Brewery Artist Lofts, housed in a 1903 Edison Power Plant and former Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery. 1920 N. Main St., Lincoln Heights. (323) 222-3007, thebreweryartistlofts.com.

See also: 5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week

26. Enjoy Free Performance in Little Tokyo

Little Tokyo's Tuesday Night Café performance series delivers eclectic entertainment -- from spoken word to hip-hop dance, improv comedy to folk singing -- all for free. 120 Judge John Aiso, dwntwn. tuesdaynight​project.org.

See also: Theater to see in L.A. this week

25. Hear Legendary Authors Read Their Work

Michael Chabon, Denis Johnson, A.M. Homes, Jonathan Lethem, Norman Rush, Junot Diaz and Karen Russell are just some of the drool-worthy authors to have appeared at Hammer Readings. Many of the events offer book signings and small receptions in the museum's courtyard. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.

See also: Best L.A. Novel Ever: The Tournament

24. Swing to a World War II-Era Big Band

Dance along to the 17-piece swing troupe Glen Roberts Big Band, and be transported to an earlier, more swinging' era. 900 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank. (818) 845-2425, voiceplaces.com/los-angeles/the-glen-roberts-big-band-2006955-e.

23. Visit a Historic, Controversial Mural

America Tropical is a bastion of L.A.'s history of mural art. Visit the observation deck and then tour the two-room museum dedicated to the piece's controversy and legacy. Next, since you're there, wander the historic Olvera Street and enjoy the sounds from the mariachis in the plaza. 125 Paseo de la Plaza, dwntwn. (213) 485-6855, americatropical.org.

click to enlarge Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook - VOICE PLACES
  • Voice Places
  • Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
22. Climb into Shape

Get a serious workout at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. With the challenging unevenness of its stairs (some steps are more than a foot high and they number at least 280), your buns will burn in the best way -- if you can make it all the way

up. 6300 Hetzler Road, Culver City. parks.ca.gov/?page_id=611.

21. Visit Jazz Legends

Cry over our lost greats at the Inglewood Park Cemetery, where you can see the final resting places of Ray Charles, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker and Big Mama Thornton, among others. 720 E. Florence Ave., Inglewood, 90301. (310) 412-6500, inglewoodparkcemetery.com.

Up next: Drink free booze and hear free music

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